Wealth of information for pig producers in AHDB report

A report by AHDB Pork which looks at the cost of pig meat production in all EU countries will prove valuable to pig producers in Britain – particularly in the face of Brexit.
calendar icon 8 January 2018
clock icon 4 minute read

That’s according to experts at AHDB, who say the 2016 Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries provides producers with a wealth of information about the country’s technical performance and allows them to compare their performance with their competitors.

It further supports AHDB’s ongoing work across the industry to encourage farmers and growers to become more productive and competitive as Britain prepares to leave the EU.

The report shows the cost of pig meat production in Britain dropped by four per cent in 2016 compared to 2015. This brings the country in line with the rest of the EU who experienced an eight percent increase in sterling terms.

The report also looks at the financial performance of all EU countries, including feed prices and costs as well as the number of pigs weaned and finished per sow each year.

AHDB Pork’s Senior Analyst, Carol Davis, said:

This is a valuable report for the pork industry as it provides a wealth of important information, both technical and financial, allowing us to compare ourselves to our competitors in the EU.

As well as highlighting our successes in the pork sector, the report also looks at areas where we need to improve to enable us to compete with the rest of Europe. There are many challenges that exist and it is important that we become more productive now to help us to remain profitable in the future.

One of the key challenges for the pork sector is litter size with the number of pigs weaned per sow below the EU average – despite a two per cent increase in 2016.

The report shows the overall average number of pigs weaned per sow per year in the European countries increased in 2016, up from 26.81 in 2015 to 27.53 last year – with Denmark achieving 32.

In Britain, the number of pigs weaned per sow rose to 24.83 overall, with indoor sow production rising to 26.2, a small increase compared to 2015. Outdoor sows increased from 22.1 to 22.8 last year.

The main reason Britain has a below average number of pigs weaned per sow lies in the number of pigs born alive per litter, with Britain still performing below the EU average of 13.8. The 2016 Britain average of 12.5 (indoor sows 13, outdoor sows 11.7) was an increase compared to 12.3 in 2015.

Carol added:

While Britain is making improvements, so is the rest of Europe and more needs to be done to improve our performance. This report is incredibly useful to see where individual producers and the industry as a whole compare to the rest of the EU.

AHDB is committed to producing this report every year to ensure that we continue to monitor pig production in Britain and the wider EU.

To assist producers in comparing their physical performance with other pig businesses in England, AHDB Pork has a Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section on its website that is updated quarterly, based on Agrosoft data.

The section provides average, top third and top 10 per cent performance for KPIs for indoor and outdoor breeding herds, reared and finishing herds.

The 2016 Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries report is available here

As reported by AHDB

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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